Assessment of Team Attitudes Among First Year Health Profession Students
In the fall of 2018, approximately 600 students from across several disciplines at Emory University participated in a team training event. The purpose of the event was to provide education for the use of SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendation) as a communication tool to improve healthcare outcomes.
The overarching aim of the study was to assess whether the education and small group practice using SBAR improved communication among various disciplines. Additional goals were to determine whether students (1) collaborated more effectively in planning patient care, (2) improved use of terminology across disciplines, and (3), improved understanding of their various roles. Student receptivity to critique of performance issues as well as attitudes concerning willingness to learn about other professions was assessed.
Using the “Nebraska Interprofessional Education Attitudes Scale, (Dallaghan, et al, 2016), student perceptions of their ability to effectively communicate were assessed prior to and following the training event. The Nebraska Interprofessional Education Attitude Scale (NIPEAS) was developed to measure the attitudes of pre-clinical learners to practicing health professionals. An exploratory factor analysis found that the 19-item questionnaire focuses on four factors; these include “team approach to health care, receptivity to teammates, self-efficacy as a team member, and ethics in health care.
Data from the study participants in the nursing and medicine programs are reported. A total of 522 and 183 students completed the pre- and post-training questionnaires respectively. The NIPEAS had a high internal consistency in our sample (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.88). To report preliminary findings, the individual Likert scale responses were dichotomized into positive (“strongly agree” and “agree”) or negative (“neither agree nor disagree”, “disagree”, “strongly disagree”). Post-training scores indicate positive improvement in participants’ communication about patient care within their own discipline (91% versus 81 %) or using terminology across other disciplines (65% versus 42%), compared to pre-training. Also, participants showed positive improvement in understanding their roles within their team (95% versus 86%) as well as that of others’ (80% versus 72%). Other aspects showed minimal improvement over time, however this may be due to the ceiling effect which limits the measurement accuracy or any changes over time.